A war rages on about the very definition of holocaust and genocide. To me, it seems rather simple. When a particular group plans and executes the systematic slaughter of all people of a particular race or ideology, this crime is being committed. The differentiating factor between this and war is that in war, both sides are at least somewhat armed.
Here then, are the Holocausts and genocides which are generally accepted to have occurred in the past 150 years:
India AD 1857 – Britain eliminated 10 million people over 10 years beginning in 1857
Armenian Genocide – 1915-1923 – 1.5M Armenians slaughtered by the Ottoman Empire
Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 – Under Stalin, the Soviets orchestrated an artificial famine, starving out 7M-10M Ukrainians
Nazi Holocaust until 1945 –
The slaughter was systematically conducted in virtually all areas of Nazi-occupied territory in what are now 35 separate European countries. It was at its worst in Central and Eastern Europe, which had more than seven million Jews in 1939. About five million Jews were killed there, including three million in occupied Poland and over one million in the Soviet Union. Hundreds of thousands also died in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Yugoslavia and Greece. The Wannsee Protocol makes clear that the Nazis also intended to carry out their “final solution of the Jewish question” in England and Ireland.
Jews were not the only target group. In addition, the planned systematic slaughter of Poles, the Romani, Soviet POWs, Soviet civilians, and disabled people is generally agreed to total between 11 million and 17 million people.
Cambodia 1975-79 –
Pol Pot of Cambodia, being responsible for the deaths of 2M-3M million fellow Cambodians in the 1975-79 period after he seized power, would certainly appear to have violated the Convention. Some argue, however, that because the convention does not include “political opinions” as part of the offence that his systematic mass murders don’t count as a holocaust.
The ethnic cleansing that persisted in parts of Bosnia, including the three year brutal siege of Sarajevo, will forever remind the world of the lack of political will among European governments and the UN Security Council during those years. Rape was also a terrible instrument of this oppression. Srebrenica, where 7,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered, must never be forgotten.
Rwanda 1994 –
The mass killing of hundreds of thousands of Rwanda’s Tutsis and Hutu political moderates was carried out by Hutus under the Hutu Power ideology. Over the course of approximately 100 days, from the assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana on 6 April up until mid July, at least 500,000 people were killed. Most estimates indicate a death toll between 800,000 and 1,000,000, which could be as high as 20% of the total Rwanda population.
South Sudan (Darfur)
In Sudan’s Darfur province, since April, 2003 an estimated 400,000- 450,000 African civilians have been murdered by bombs, bullets or swords of the Bashir military regime in Khartoum and their minions, the Janjaweed, or died of related causes, such as starvation and disease. The killing, raping and burning pattern in Darfur is essentially the same one used by Khartoum earlier in the Nuba mountains and across South Sudan. To date, an additional 2.5M civilians have been burned out and displaced, most of whom are living in refugee camps on the Chad border.
In addition, Tibet may be on the brink of this definition. As most know, Tibetans are perhaps the most peaceful people on earth and rely on their Buddhist faith/patience rather than violence to solve their problems. China is systematically invading Tibet. They not only took it over decades ago, but are systematically flooding it with Chinese civilians who are granted all the jobs and land, effectively starving out the Tibetans. Any Tibetans who resist/speak out are either killed or arrested and disappear.
On May 14, 1995, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was named the 11th Panchen Lama by the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. After he was nominated Panchen Lama, Chinese authorities had Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family removed from Tibet. The boy-lama has not been seen since. Gyancain Norbu was later named as Panchen Lama by the People’s Republic of China. Obviously, the Chines government has no more right to appoint the reincarnation of the Lama than you or I do.
Today, the Chinese government is building a major railroad from China into Tibet which will flood Tibet with Chinese on a much larger scale, undoubtedly hammering home the final nail in the coffin for the Tibetan people.